Step 1: Assemble an Emergency Kit

The purpose of your emergency kit is to provide adequate resources and information for your family. The contents of your emergency kit should be stored in a cool, dry place in one or two easy-to-carry containers. Your kit should be easily accessible and ready-to-go at a moment’s notice. Below is a list of suggested contents to include in your emergency kit. For a downloadable checklist, click here.

  • Flashlights.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Battery-powered or hand radio.
  • Battery-powered lantern.
  • Cell phones with chargers, inverter or solar charger.
  • Utility knife, shut off wrench, and pliers to turn off utilities.
  • Duct tape and plastic sheeting to build a shelter-in-place.
  • Plastic garbage bags and ties.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Matches in a waterproof container.
  • Compass and local maps.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • First aid kit and essential medications, vitamins, prescriptions, as well as a list of medications for each person.
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book.
  • Paper and pencils.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper (when one part of bleach is diluted with nine parts water, it can be used as a disinfectant).
  • Bottled water (enough for at least three gallons per person for a three day period).
  • Food: a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Canned food such as ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables. High-energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, crackers, and trail mix.
  • Non-electric can opener.
  • Paper cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils.
  • Infant items such as bottles, formula, diapers, wipes, and diaper rash ointment.
  • Pet food and extra water.
  • Personal items: sunglasses, prescription glasses, soap, moist towelettes for sanitation, and other feminine and personal hygiene items.
  • Clothing: protective clothing, rain gear, change of clothes (consider durable material), and sturdy shoes.
  • Bedding: sleeping bag or bedroll and a pillow for each person in your home.

If evacuation is necessary, important documents should be taken with you. Store the following in a portable, waterproof container:

  • Official form of identification such as a driver’s license, military ID, or passport
  • Social Security Cards (for each member in your family)
  • Proof of Residence (deed or lease)
  • Insurance policies
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Stocks, bonds, and other negotiable certificates
  • Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns
  • Health records or information medical for family members